Entering this home is like walking back in time. We leave the cars, honking horns and speeding buses behind the double wooden front doors and immediately feel the cool calm of this graceful old colonial home. The first thing I notice is the 16 foot ceilings that rise above us, braced by rough wooden vigas, interrupted by the occasional slowly spinning fan. Underfoot, pasta tiles gleam, their once bright colors softened with age, their patterns a kaleidoscope that changes from room to room. Archways, tile, wrought iron work are reminders of an era when everything was fashioned by hand. White walls more than a foot thick insulate the house from the mid-day heat. Tony and Nala, the two house dogs are sprawled on the floor, tongues out, trying to stay cool. The cats, Scooby, Mickey D, Millie and Scrappy are napping underneath the shade of the backyard portico. Beyond them, the walled garden’s main feature is the inviting blue pool. Life here is lived according to temperature. Nothing moves too fast. I immediately feel like I should slow down too. What is the hurry? This is Merida, in the Yucatan, and this is where we will spend the next 7 weeks. We are housesitting.